Tips for a Contemporary Look Using Cement Tiles

Posted by William Buyok on

While encaustic cement tile have been around since the 1850's, the can be used to create a contemporary look with the greatest of ease. We'll show you how to choose the right pattern and colors to make these tiles look right at home in any contemporary space. Who says you can't teach an old horse new tricks? 


An Old Tile, Exhibits Contemporary Style

The versatility of cement tile makes them an easy choice if you want to use them in a modern home or contemporary space. Here's a few of my favorite examples that show just how well encaustic cement tile with geometric patterns provide a contemporary look.


A resort club house uses a geometric cement tile pattern that is also a metaphor for golf balls and the green. For a slightly dressed-up look that is still casual, cement tile rugs are created by using pattern tile. The rugs don't have frilly decorative borders, but they set-off the seating areas against a plain, large-format tile. Avoiding traditional borders keeps the pattern from getting too busy. The color and design are playful, fun and casual. If you do use a border, make sure it's a simple pattern like the one in the master bath floor shown below. Notice how the designs show restraint with colors and the pattern is only on one surface, like the floor or an accent wall.


Cement tiles with a geometric pattern are also a pmet
The club house at this resort uses a geometric cement tile that is also a metaphor for the golf ball and green.
Cement tiles with a geometric pattern are also a pmet
The master bath in this resort home has contemporary style whiles using a patterned cement tile on the floor
DESIGN TIP - To achieve a contemporary look with cement tile, use geometric patterns. Limit yourself to two or three colors. It's best to pair a neutral color with two tones of another color, such as white coupled with a light green and dark green.


Have Fun With Geometric Patterns To Keep the Mood Relaxed

The Serengeti pattern from Avente's Classic Cement Tile collection provides an exotic, contemporary feel that is timeless in its classic two-color pallet. This dining room floor is an elegant and contemporary focal point for this resort restaurant.


Serengeti Cement Tile Installation uses a geometric pattern that is mismatched

Serengeti Cement Tile & Pattern

Notice how the tiles are "mismatched" so that the light color cream is juxtaposed to black in the neighboring tile. Compare to the Serengeti pattern. Also, the pattern runs the entire room without a border. All of these design choices create hip, modern feel for this resort restaurant while maintaining an elegant setting.

To help achieve a contemporary look make sure to use a straight-forward color palette. You want to limit yourself to two or three colors. Generally, one color should be a neutral, white or off-white. A third, bold color can be added sparingly for accent or choose one that is darker or lighter.


Tips to Create a Contemporary Look with Cement Tile

If you love cement tiles and want to use them in your mid-century modern or want to maintain a casual look in an open setting, here's a few tips that will help.



  1. Limit your choices to a few colors.
  2. Choose simple, geometric patterns that have clean lines.
  3. Install patterns so they run to the edge of the room.
  4. Try "mismatching" the dark and light colors on neighboring tile. This works well for high-contrast tiles and with bolder complementary colors.
  5. Add pattern tiles to the floor or to an accent wall; but, not both. Otherwise, the design becomes too busy.
  6. In large rooms, create tile rugs without any border tile or use very simple border patterns


Geometric patterns like Avente's Geometric Diamond provide a contemporary look for this spa lobby. The clean lines of of geometric patterns are the perfect choice. The design decisions shown here reinforce our rules to maintain a modern aesthetic. To achieve a contemporary look with cement tile, the designer used patterns that aren't too fussy. You can see that the colors were limited to two shades of green and paired with white.

The Geometric Diamond Pattern uses two shades of green on a white background to emphasize the interlocking circles. I love how the two shades of green create the illusion of texture and depth where the circles over-lap. Additionally, limit the pattern to either the floor or an accent wall. This keeps the design from getting to busy. Remember, contemporary design requires restraint.

Cement tiles that use geometric patterns create a contemporary look
Use geometric patterns and few colors to create a contemporary design with encaustic cement tiles
Cement tiles should be limited to a few color to maintain a contemporary look
Two shades of green paired with white keep the design contemporary and clean


Geometric Cement Tile Design Inspiration

These examples show how cement tiles create a contemporary look when the right pattern and color choices are made. Looking for more inspiration and design ideas? Let us help! Browse our Contemporary Cement Tile Design Ideas. If you have more questions or need help, start by visiting our Cement Tile Information Center. Or, contact us at 888.739.4972 (9-5 PST M-F) or at

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